We rely on your reports of any natural or wildlife related items of interest.
Please pass your reports to Iain or John. See our Contacts page for details.

Latest News

If you wish to join our club (and new members are very welcome) you can now download an application form from here. The form is in Microsoft Word format so should be readily viewable. The forms will also be available per the usual outlets.

Clicking on any image will give an enlarged version (maximum 640 x 480 pixels approximately). Higher resolution images are available on request (subject to the copyright holder's agreement) - contact John for details.

7th January 2015
Here we are with another year and with little to report! Our usual winter visitors have been few and far between this season, a few small flocks of Redwing, likewise of Fieldfare, only an occasional sighting of Brambling and no further reports of Waxwing since November. It looks like most of us have has a distinct drop in the number of birds coming into our gardens, they must still be finding plenty of 'natural' food and prefer that to our offerings. Numbers have gone up on the few hard days we've had, only to drop off again as soon as the frosts have lifted. There is no cause for concern, the bird population is as healthy as it ever was. John's garden is renowned for the lack of birds in wet weather and last week saw a record low - Blackbird and Chaffinch only and only a few of each - offset by a more normal 6-8 types of bird in much greater numbers the following day.

Two bits of information from elsewhere. The first is from Any Riches -

"This is to let you know that Scottish Badgers will be running a Level 1 Registered Badger Worker Course in Dumfries & Galloway this autumn.
The purpose of the Registered Badger Worker Training Scheme is to build a network of surveyors certified as competent to undertake specific tasks as identified by Scottish Badgers. Inclusion on the Register is a nationally recognised qualification.
The course costs £120.00 which includes a comprehensive training manual, classroom and field-based training, personal tutoring, assessment fees and completion certificate.
Full details of the course and an application form are attached but if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me."
(We haven't been able to put the details/application form on-line but, if you contact John, we can forward it on request or put you in touch with Andy.)

The second is from Neighbourhood Watch regarding a scam -

Sky Television and Broadband Phone Scam
We've had recent reports of scammers phoning pretending to be from Sky Television and Broadband so please make sure friends and family are aware. Sky have confirmed that this is not a genuine call.
The scammers attempt to appear authentic by asking for you by name and stating that "our information" shows you pay by direct debit. The scam involves claiming that your Sky viewing card is about to expire and that they need some information in order to send you a new one. They then proceed to ask for your sort code before then asking for the last four digits of your account number. Like many scammers they may get pushy when not given this information.
This call is then followed up by a second call where they claim you have overpaid and that they wish to refund you. It is at this point that they ask for the rest of your bank details.
A Sky Spokesperson said
"We would never contact a customer to request payment over the phone for a replacement viewing card.
If you are due a credit on your account it’s very unusual for us to ask for your bank details over the phone, if you are suspicious at all please hang up and call us on 03442 414141. "
If you've received this scam call or a similar one and given over account details you should contact your bank immediately. If you received such a call and didn't give over details, it would be helpful if you could report the incident to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
The reason these scams work is that they contact thousands of people and so, purely by coincidence, a few of these people will not only have a Sky account but may have recently completed a transaction with Sky and so will be expecting such a call.
If you receive this or another suspicious phone call...
• Remember, you do not have to get into discussions over the phone with anyone, and never give out any personal information, such as bank or credit card details. These could be used fraudulently.
• Keep your business, your business. Just say "No thank you, I am not interested" and hang up straight away.
• To find out more about True Call the call blocking device tested by Trading Standards, which stops 99% of nuisance calls visit http://www.truecall.co.uk
Also remember ... No genuine lottery or competition would ask you to buy goods or send money to claim a prize!

20th November 2014
A small group of Waxwings was seen near Tweedsmuir last weekend. There are reports of small groups being seen over much of the eastern UK, also the Northern Isles, but no mass influx so far this year.

15th November 2014
Few reports of sightings of our winter visitors of late. However, down at our reserve this morning, we (the work squad) witnessed an exceedingly large flock of Siskins. We are used to seeing flocks, usually up to about 100 strong, going about at this time of year (they feed on the Alder trees) but this sighting was a surprise. Today's flock very kindly streamed across a convenient gap in dribs and drabs so we were able to get a fairly good estimate of the total number - over 900 birds in the flock (Iain's count was 939) - well beyond anything that any of us had ever seen before.

2nd November 2014

Further to our Gowk Tree, here are two images related to the occasion. On the left, Jock is proudly displaying the certificate received at Holyrood to commemorate our achievement. On the right is a copy of the actual photograph submitted.

30th October 2014
The Woodland Trust's Tree of the Year has now been chosen. The winner is Lady's Tree at Loch o' the Lowes. This 100 year old Scots Pine, proposed by the SWT, has been home to 'Lady', the oldest known breeding Osprey in Scotland, for the past 25 years.
Our own Gowk Tree came in second place - a great achievement.
Third was the Clachan Oak (Balfor, Stirlingshire), fourth, the Fortingall Yew (oldest tree in Scotland), fifth, Queen Mary's Tree (chestnut, Cumbernauld) and sixth, the Kissing Beech (popular with courting couples at Kilravok Castle, Invernessshire). All worthy contenders.

Closer to home, Garry saw his first Bramblings of the winter earlier this week. They won't starve! They love Beech 'mast' and this year has seen the biggest crop for many years (in fact John reckons he has has never seen so much since he started to notice these things and that spans some 60 years!)

23rd October 2014
Some additional information about our Gowk Tree and Pouch Tree has come to light. Our Gowk Tree page has been amended to include the new details.

16th October 2014
From Dave Bradshaw-
At 8.20 on Tuesday morning, 16 Redwings feeding on the berries opposite our house, they flew towards the crooked road, then another 18 flew over Cornal Court (Beattock)and headed in the same direction.Yesterday 27 Blackbirds feeding on hawthorn berries on cycle track behind our house. 5 Redwing on holly berries in Cornal Court. No more hirundines seen since last week looks like that is it for this year. Went up to Earshaigs yesterday, large flock of 55 Redpolls flying round plus 6 Crossbills and all the usual birds.
Dave has also sent a photo of a Heron carrying a mole(?) and another of a Kingfisher - these will be added to our gallery in due course.

In addition to Dave's sightings of Redwing, there have been quite a few small flocks passing over lately. One definite sighting of a Fieldfare by Garry. No doubt there will be lots more soon.

We have been asked by a few people why there are so many geese flying NORTH rather than south. These are birds, probably from the Solway, looking for suitable grasslands to feed on. Quite normal.

3rd October 2014
Have received a report from Andy Riches entitled "UK Badger Crime 2013" which you can view by clicking here (PDF format).
And from Dave Bradshaw -
House martins have still been going over the village each day from 2-5 birds, recently more around mid day. Yesterday, when rain stopped, 35 Swallows and 5 House Martins 10:45am.
Walked up to Earshaigs pm -
Beattock end of Crooked road - 5 Swallows, 27 Mistle Thrush, 32 Meadow Pipit, 2 Buzzard.
Earshaigs/Southern Upland Way - 6 Wren, Jay, juvenile Willow Warbler (at the Lochan), 9 Long tailed Tit, Goshawk, 4 Buzzard, 4 Chaffinch, G S Woodpecker, 2 Robin. Plenty of Damselflies still around.

2nd September 2014
We've received an email from DGERC asking for help in research into Ash Dieback. The text of the message is given below together with a link to an information file describing what to look for. Your help would be appreciated -
"Do you enjoy a walk in the woods? Or have Ash trees near your home?
If so you may be able to help with research into the causes of Ash-dieback which has become widespread in eastern England since 2012. The disease is caused by a fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (formerly known as Chalara fraxinea). Researchers at the John Innes Centre are studying the related fungus Hymenoscyphus albidus that occurs naturally with Ash trees but causes no problems to the tree and are looking for specimens from north west England and southern Scotland.

Details of what to look for, what to collect and where to send it are given in this pdf file."

22nd August 2015
A couple of more items from Dave -
BBS square and Stidriggs area - female Hen Harrier, pair of Stonechats, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 grey
Wagtails, Reed Bunting, 2 Siskins.
Stidriggs track -6 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat
Kinnel water - Sparrowhawk, 22 Sand Martins
Beattock Country Park - Pair Mute Swans with 7 large cygnets, Moorhen, Mallard with good size
WCBS (Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey) butterfly survey on the BBs square, first visit - 270 Ringlets,
6 Small heath, 1 Meadow brown, 4 Green veined white, 3 Small white.

And from Iain -
Swifts will soon be gone but bred well as regularly I saw 40-50 birds over Moffat. With Osprey breeding close to
Moffat they are regularly seen over the town. A White Tailed Eagle was seen locally on the 17th June over the Community Reserve before heading up Moffat Water. Barn Owls reared four young at Holmshaw, Beattock. Heath Spotted Orchids were present on the Reserve this year.

20th August 2015
Some sightings by Dave Bradshaw -
12/08/14 - Cornal Court, Beattock - 2 juv Willow Warblers
15/08/14 - Earshaigs - Meadow Pipit 18, Chaffinch 4, Swallow 16, Goldfinch 10, Stonechat 3, Song thrush 3, Mistle thrush 2, Blue tit 5, Willow Warbler 7, lots of juveniles and a singing male, Robin 6, Wren 2, Spotted Flycatcher 4, G S woodpecker 2, Goldcrest 3, Buzzard 4, Sparrowhawk , Kestrel , Jay, Bullfinch, Redpoll, Siskin 15, Carrion Crow 2.
Crooked road - Pied Wagtail 8, Meadow Pipit 7, Buzzard 3, Swallow 9.
08/08/14 - at my garden feeder I had 25 House Sparrows.

At our reserve this morning, still quite a few Dragonflies, Damselflies, Darters and Chasers going about on the Middle and Woodland Ponds.

2nd August 2015
Our meetings schedule for the forthcoming season has now been organised and you can view it on our Events page.

Our main item of news is that our President 'Jock' Dicerbo has decided to stand down. Jock has been President of the club ever since its formation in 1961. His all-round knowledge of the natural world has been a great benefit to the club and will be sorely missed. By unanimous agreement among the committee, we would like Jock to continue as Honorary President instead!

As most of you will be aware, this has been an unusually good breeding year for most of our common garden birds. House Sparrow numbers have rocketed - and there are still new broods appearing! Blackbirds have done well as have the Robins, Dunnocks, Blue Tits and Great Tits. However, it isn't all good news - there seems to be a significant drop in Swallow and House Martins.
At the Reserve, it is good and bad. Mallard have been abysmally poor this year (in fact the first brood was seen only a few days ago), something that seems to be happening all over the country for reasons unknown. A few Teal have made an appearance over the last week or so. Canada Geese set about nesting but then abandoned. Treecreepers have all but vanished for some reason but other small birds have been fine. Moorhen have done very well indeed with a few different broods coming through. Our Sand Martin bank has also been a great success with some two dozen or so nests this year. Tawny Owls raised two young successfully and our Barn Owls have also done well again.

There has been quite a few sightings of Red Squirrels in the town, possibly due to disturbance by the timber operations on Gallow Hill. Sightings seem to be in areas where there are tree corridors to the Gallow Hill and Tank Wood - Beechgrove, Old Well Road and Greenwood Close for example. Very entertaining to watch them raiding the bird feeders! Interestingly, there has been two probable sightings of Pine Marten in Greenwood Close this summer, one a brief visual sighting in daytime, the other caught on John's 'trail camera' during the night. These are likely 'wanderers' from a colony not far east of Moffat. Pine Martens do prey on squirrels but Red Squirrels are very nimble creatures and hard to catch. Greys are more cumbersome and make for much easier prey for the Pine Martens, a good natural control!

Work at the reserve continues of course. Some new paths have been laid (we've run out of wood chips so temporarily at a halt), including one going all around the Middle Pond which is great for seeing Damselflies, Dragonflies, Darters and Chasers (and Water Vole if you are lucky!). Bridges, sheds, hides and seats have all been repainted. An old shed in fairly good order has been donated and is under construction now near the orchard area. This will conveniently hold a few tools so save us from having to carry them all that way! New picnic tables have also been installed. With good pathways and plenty of places to sit for a while, it's a great place to come for a leisurely visit complete with flask and sandwiches!

12th June 2014
John had another squirrel in his garden in Greenwood Close this morning. However, the good news is that this time it was a Red Squirrel performing acrobatics to reach the peanuts. It is welcome back any time! Not the best picture but it was taken through the double-glazing.

7th June 2014 (replacing 6th June entry)
A Red-breasted Goose was seen at our Reserve today, apparently keeping company with the Canada Geese and a Greylag. This goose is a native of Eurasia and is seldom seen in Britain (even if it is an escapee rather than a truly wild one). There were a few sightings at Caerlaverock in April. To have one on our Reserve is quite something! The photograph is by John Ramsay.

22nd May 2014
Update from Dave Bradshaw - checked the nest boxes at Bankend for the first time on Friday(16th).
9 of the 12 new boxes put up are occupied and bits of material in the other 3. Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher are back in the wood but have not heard Willow Warbler yet which is normally present by now. On first check Great Tit is up two on last year and Blue tit up by one on last year.
Went up to Stidriggs this morning (18th) to do the early visit on the BBS survey. While walking in the track to the start point as I reached it a Male Black grouse flew up from the field on the left hand side. First time seen in this section of fields. I viewed a Cuckoo on the top of a tree over on the edge of the Ae forest calling and flying. BBS transect 3 had 1 male Whinchat, trans 5 had 2 male Whinchats and trans 6 had 1 male Whinchat so again at least 4 male Whinchats on the square. Had a pair of Grey Wagtails with 2 newly fledged young and a female Goosander on the River Kinnel. The bad news is there are no house martins at Stidriggs farmhouse today so if that stays like that it has gone from 27 nests to slightly less last year to none this year and nothing has changed at the farmhouse habitat wise.
Update from Iain - Mid-April to 21st May.
At Dyke Farm Nature Reserve on 16th April were Swallows, Sand Martins, three singing Chiffchaff and four Willow Warblers. There were 7 Canada Geese around with two Greylag Geese. A few days later there were three Mute Swans and the first Blackcap had returned. The first Swifts were over Moffat on the 2nd May and several moved through the Reserve the following day. Usual assortment of records of House Martin and Swallows and at the Reserve the Sand Martin colony is thriving again with around 15 active nesting holes which is really encouraging. The Starlings have used three or four of the nest boxes we have put up for them and there are now plenty young Starlings in the fields. Our Barn Owls have hatched their young and hopefully they will have a good season. A pair of Tawny Owls are rearing their family next to the big Work Shed. Stock Doves occupy a good few nest boxes too and Tits and Nuthatch are also breeding in them though we have not counted them yet. Butterflies are around with Orange-tips and Small Tortoiseshell being seen with damselflies. Tadpoles from Frog and Toad and Palmate Newts thrive in the ponds with other pondlife and Jock has an aquarium set up in the Woodland Hide for visitors to enjoy. Roe Deer, Red Fox, Weasel and Rabbits among numerous small mammals have been seen lately. We continue to work away and we have planted a small area next to the Middle Pond with wildflower seed so we hope they will put on a good show later in the season. In early May, Jock photographed a Hobby at the Community Reserve flying over the lochan which was a really good sighting. On the 17th myself, John Smith and Jon Haydon saw a Red Kite fly over the woodland at the Reserve which was a real thrill and my first local sighting of this amazing bird. Also present at the Reserve that day was a small flock of nine geese comprising of seven Canadas, a Greylag and a Pink Footed Goose.....pretty good! Spotted Flycatchers were observed nest building on the 21st near the Woodland Hide. Andy Dickson had two pairs of Tree Sparrow nesting in his garden in nest boxes though one was unfortunately predated by a Weasel. Bird numbers in gardens are obviously much reduced but Goldfinch, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll have been seen lately in good numbers.
And from John - my Italian update for 2014 has been modified slightly since first posted. Should have mentioned that it has a selection of photos of plants that I would like identified - a challenge for all you botanists! Go to Articles on the menu at the left, choose Italian Wildlife and you will find a link to the update at the top of the page, the plants are at the end of the page. Also had the misfortune to see a Grey Squirrel in the our garden last week but there has been no sign of it since (trail camera has been watching too!).

4th May 2014
Our Coffee Morning held yesterday raised just over £1800 for the club funds. This is wonderful total and our sincerest appreciation goes to all who dipped deeply into pockets and purses to achieve this total. We thank all of you for your support. We especially thank all those who contributed to the various stalls and those who gave up their time to working 'behind the scenes' on the day. The wonderful carving, by Peter Bowsher, was won by Hazel Hastie so it will remain 'local'.

On the wildlife front, we had a report of a Barn Owl having been killed on the road near Dyke Farm. However, it proved to have actually been a Tawny Owl. Sad for the Tawny but a relief for us as we feared we may have lost one of 'our' Barnies.
And an unusual one, on Thursday an animal was seen running along a fence between Greenwood Close and Markland. From size and description it may have been a mink but most probably was a Pine Marten. There is a population of these not far away so probably one of those out for a wander - looking for Grey Squirrels with a bit of luck!

And finally, an update to John's Italy wildlife observations has now been posted. Go to Articles on the menu at the left, choose Italian Wildlife and you will find a link to the update at the top of the page. The opportunity was taken to rectify a couple of small errors and omissions in the original (2013) article,

13th April 2014
Late March/early April update from Iain -
On the 22nd at the Reserve were 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Greylag Geese flew over and a mixed flock of 3-400 Fieldfare and Redwing were around. While at Bankend Wood on the 24th Dave Bradshaw saw a Grey Wagtail and Garry Tait had a Peacock butterfly round Toot. Two days later an impressive flock of 56 Whooper Swans were on the lochan at the Community Reserve with 2 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe. Four Common Gull were at the Reserve with a male Sparrowhawk and a few Meadow Pipits passing over. While walking beside the River Annan at Brydekirk on the 28th Anne and Howard Gibbard saw some Sand Martins and an Otter. On the 30th I had a reliable report of two Green Woodpeckers visiting a garden near Craigielands at Beattock while a pair of Reed Buntings were at another garden at Meadowbank Rise. On April 2nd a Sand Martin appeared at the Reserve with 2 Chiffchaff calling. Many Pinkfeet moving over and plenty Fieldfare and Redwing in the area too. At the Community Reserve on the 4th were 4 Shoveler and the first Osprey arrived back up Moffat Water. Scott and Janet Little saw the first Swallow along the cycle track at Beattock on the 8th. The following day at the Reserve were 2 Sand Martins and 7 Canada Geese and a Cormorant flew over with 3 Chiffchaff calling. I saw an Osprey near Crawford on the 10th and on Saturday 12th at the Reserve there were 5 Sand Martin, 4 Swallows moving through and still Chiffchaff but no Willow Warblers yet. The Canada Goose is sitting tight on her nest at our reserve and the Oystercatchers are still showing interest in the new gravel island. A ringed Lesser Redpoll was in a garden at Meadowbank Rise among a small flock of 4 Lesser Redpoll and many Siskins.

This will be the last update for two weeks - John off to Italy again - so just a reminder that our Coffee Morning is on Saturday, 3rd May at 10.30am. We greatly value your support so please come along and bring plenty of cash to spend!

5th April 2014
Spring migration is well under way. Whooper Swans passing through, various geese heading north, the first Sandmartins have arrived, Chiffchaffs heard calling, etc. A pair of Canada Geese seem to be taking up residence on one of our islands, Oystercatchers are frequently overhead, possibly evaluating the isalnds, but they haven't yet dispersed for nesting. Most resident birds are either already nesting or preparing to nest. Some good weather would help immensely!

27th March 2014
Have received the annual (2013) mammal report for D&G from Andy Riches, the area mammal recorder. You can view it by clicking here. It is in PDF format so Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view it. Please allow time for it to load as it is quite a large file.

15th March 2014
Despite the apparent absence of frogs in John's pond, a considerable amount of spawn appeared overnight from Wednesday/Thursday. Around 30 frogs appeared briefly on Friday evening but no more spawn evident so far. Andy Dickson reported lots of frogs on the road on his way in to the club meeting on Friday evening. Some frog activity and spawn on the Reserve ponds today.
Little new on the bird situation, a few more sightings of Blackcap and first sighting of Wheatear so our summer migrants are on the way. Expect to see Sandmartins any day now. Garry reports that Ravens are already sitting on eggs. Animals are also becoming more active, quite a few Badgers seen around Ballplay Road lately.

11th March 2014
John had a male Blackcap in the garden yesterday. Apparently one has been seen by Ann Murray in her garden on Well Road over the past week or so, possibly the same bird.
Dave Bradshaw saw two Hedgehogs feeding below his bird feeder on Sunday morning so they are coming out of hibernation.
There are also a few sightings of Bumblebees on the go so the fine days are bringing them out now.
Still very little frog activity at John's pond - only 3 or 4 seen so far.

9th March 2014
From Jean Hunter-Grant, Hoppertitty, Beattock on Friday 7th - First appearance of frogspawn this morning in both ponds in the garden and lots of frog activity. Last year it was the beginning of April.
(No sign of frog activity yet down at the reserve or in John's pond - shouldn't be long now)

1st March 2014
Jock Dicerbo, our President ever since the Wildlife Club started in 1961, reached his 80th Birthday two weeks ago (15th Feb). By way of a celebration, the committee laid on a small get-together that night. We presented him with a carving by Peter Bowsher depicting a Gannet, much to his delight. There were numerous photos taken and these have now become available so here is a very small selection of them. It was unfortunate that not all committee members were able to attend as, by all accounts, it was a very enjoyable evening.

20th February 2014
Another update - last Sunday/Monday, Jean Hunter-Grant while walking her dog Nell, spotted nine Grey Herons alight from a small pond between Milton Farm and Murthat. Also in the area was a small roost of 26 Starling using a fir tree to roost in. This morning, 20th February, Garry Tait was at the Community Reserve and there were 30 Oystercatchers, with a dozen or so using the floating rafts, and 6 Lapwing in the area which was good to see.
John noted today Song Thrushes singing away heartily, one on the trees bordering Merkland & Greenwood Close, another on the trees beside Mill Green on Well Road.

19th February 2014
There are signs that birds are starting to pair off, a Woodpecker was heard drumming at Dyke Farm today and a number of Oystercatchers were heard calling over the town tonight. All signs that spring just might be on its way - or is that wishful thinking?
Our Reserve Development page has been updated with a summary of recent work.

18th February 2014
As most of you will be aware, this has been a very quiet winter season for bird sightings. Here is a summary from Iain on what little has been reported to him so far this year -
Since the start of 2014 there have been a number of people reporting very small numbers of Bramblings visiting their gardens. On 6th January, Scott Little had 5 Lesser Redpoll in his garden at Beattock. A fortnight later Scott saw two Oystercatchers down the APR Road and Garry saw one passing over Moffat on the 28th. Garry reported a number of Red Kite sightings between Moffat and Lockerbie. Clive Ottowell had two good sightings of a Green Sandpiper and a Water Rail at Lochbrow on the River Annan near Johnstonebridge. At the Reserve on the 29th two Raven flew over while a Kestrel has been wintering in the area. On 1st February Grace Saunders from Beattock reported a Brambling in her garden and on the 7th Garry had a flock of 17 Brambling near The Yett farm at Johnstonebridge. At the Community Reserve two or three Oystercatchers have been using the floating rafts while small numbers of waterfowl can be seen at times including Mute Swans, Goosander, Cormorant and Tufted Ducks.

4th February 2014
Andy Riches has sent the annual reports for Castle & Hightae Lochs for 2013. These have been posted and you can view them here. They are all in PDF format so Adobe Acrobat Reader is required.
Castle & Hightae Loch LNR Report 2013
Monthly Maxima Castle Loch
Annual Maxima Castle Loch
Andy is asking for any last records to go into the 2013 D&G County Mammal Report. If you have any records that you want included that have not already been sent to him then now is the time! Reports of all mammals, from mice to stags, are welcomed - they all go to making up the full picture. You can email reports to dgmammals@aol.com

Also John has now posted his graphs for bird sightings in Greenwood Close for the five years of 2009 through to 2013 and has expanded it a little from previous years. This is also in PDF format.
Greenwood Close Birds

The long spell of wet weather has hampered work down at the reserve lately. However, numerous nestboxes have been refurbished and put up, along with a number of brand new ones. We have also made a start gravelling one of the islands but this will be a long job!
On the wildlife front there has been very little to report. Our winter visitors have been conspicuously absent this year although still a few Fieldfare going about.

5th January 2014
The recent spell of atrocious weather has done no serious damage on the reserve. There has been some flooding but, beyond dislodging some pathway logs, has been fairly minor. We have been painstaking in keeping our drainage ditches clear and it looks as if that has made a huge difference.
Recent work (beyond replacing logs!) has been on replacing old nestboxes and adding some new ones. The 'boys' seem to be doing fine without John's help (suffering from a back problem!).
Numerous smallish flocks of geese were seen this morning over Moffat, going in a northerly direction. It is likely that their normal feeding areas are waterlogged and they are seeking new ones. It is a bit early for migration yet.

11th December 2013
Another bird has been added to our lists - a Dipper was seen on the reserve this morning. This is quite unexpected as the habitat is not one that these birds are likely to visit, they prefer fast flowing water..

All the earlier entries for 2013 have been moved to the Archives.